tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN October 15, 2014 8:00am-10:01am EDT
it was no longer idaho's plan. we need a public hearing on this. i had a public hearing on it. i had people come in look, we were collaborators. we wanted it but not the way the dems changed this in washington, d.c. it was no longer an idaho plan. you don't know anything about this because you weren't here at the time. those are the facts. i support what mike simpson did here in the collaborative process. it is a good plan. >> moderator: mr. mitchell. risch: once again -- mitchell: it is lawyer tricks. you're blaming people in the room. you've been there six years. six years was enough time to work with representative simpson to work out the issues. not to blame unnamed liberals back in washington.
we need to move on rather than blaming liberal bogey man. we need to protect special places like boulder white clouds. risch: you need to talk to dems in tennessee. >> moderator: foreign policy and ripple effect sometimes can be fet, many times felt here in idaho. what foreign policy issue other than isis in conflicts and iraq in syria, should americans, idahoans and congress should be paying close attention to right now? senator, we begin with you. risch: obviously you just mentioned some of them. i spend most of tuesday and thursday afternoons in intelligence meetings dealing with stuff. other days i'm in foreign relations committee dealing with this stuff. there are challenges all over the world. the world is a dangerous place. the challenges continue to rise but the important thing is that we as americans continue to
lead. we are americans. we are the best country on the face of this planet. we're the strongest country on the face of this planet and the world looks to us. we've been deterioratings on the national stage since president obama did his apology tour which started in cairo, egypt, not long after he took office. we need to talk about american exceptionalism. we need to project american exceptionalism and, if we do that, the rest of the world will follow. we can't be the world's policeman and all little fights go on. as you know a year ago i led the charge to stop us from going into syria which would have been a horrible mess if we had done that. probably one of the most important things i did while i was in the senate. >> moderator: mr. mitchell. mitchell: i agree that the united states is the best and greatest country in the world but we need to use our power wisely. and unfortunately we did not
starting with the bush administration and the approach that we took to the middle east. we do face challenges around the world and we, the united states does need to be a leader but in terms of being a leader, we need to look around the corner, not just react to today's problem. we need to be focusing on what is around the corner. what is the long term impact of other involvement such as in iraq. you just don't invade a country like iraq. you need to have an endgame. unfortunately with the bush administration we did not. we do face these challenges but one of the things that i find disappointing is the shrillness and partisanship currently in the senate on these issues. we need to have a bipartisan, bipartisan approach to foreign policy. as we face these challenges, we need to make sure we're working collaboratively with the neighboring countries such as in
the middle east. >> moderator: 30 second follow-up, senator, if you'd like. risch: again, i'm really focused on trying to keep us out of these things. i, these are, i voted against the most recent proposal to arm and to train the so-called rebels in syria and, i think that was a really bad idea. i met with those people. i don't have any confidence. syria is made up of 200 very complex tribes, combined religious ethnic views. their fights have been going on for a thousand years. there is no way we will settle that. we have got to protect ourselves. >> moderator: dr. weatherby. >> question for mr. mitchell, you stated early on in your campaign, if elected you would serve one term saying six years is a long time. why would you volunteer to be a lame duck, the moment you're sworn into office? mitchell: six years is a long
time. and i think the, one of the primary problems we have in politics today are career politicians. they get back in washington and all they're worried about is running for re-election, raising money for the next election campaign, not actually leading. once again, six years, you can accomplish a lot in six years. i think we need more people back in washington who have had other careers. who understand the issues that are actually faced in their states and will spend full time focusing on those issues as opposed to worrying about their next election. >> moderator: follow-up? risch: well, briefly, let me just say that everything in the united states senate is based on senority. i'm very fortunate have gotten there when i did. when i had gotten there mike crapo had been there.
he was 77th in senority. i'm in low 60s and actually in the 50s now. senority make as tremendous amount of difference. i was surprised. i've been in public service most of my adult life and very little surprised me in washington, d.c. one is their cavalier attitude about money. but how complex the united states senate is and how important senority is in the united states senate. >> talk about the affordable care act. start with you, mr. mitchell. does it need to be fixed, repealed and es what will be the consequences especially with idaho we have our own state exchange? mitchell: the affordable care act, there are a number of good features with the affordable care act. the fact that children stay on their parents policies until they're 26. the fact that it covers preexisting conditions. the lifting of lifetime caps. unfortunately the implementation has been a disaster. what we need back in washington is we need leaders who are going
to focus how do we fix this, how do we make it better? here in idaho we have 75,000 people who have health insurance because of the affordable care act. so it is not simply you can't repeal it. that would mean we're putting 75,000 people out on the street without coverage. so, what we need to focus on are, it is good features and how we can make it better. >> moderator: senator? risch: thank you, i lived with this disaster since i went to the united states senate. it is no secret but i voted against it. indeed every single republican voted against it. every single democrat for it voted for it and has been a disaster. i have a minute. you can't talk about this complex subject. the bill they gave us was 3,000 pages and handed it to us 45 minutes before harry reid called a vote on that bill. i will refer you to the internet. if you look up patient choice, affordability and responsibility
empowerment act. patient choice, responsibility and affordability and up poorment act. that is proposal by not republicans how we would fix it. of course it starts with repeal. it replaces it with a lot of things that i think would be very good for the american people. this thing has been unmitigated disaster. it can not go on the way that it is. the administration what they were trying to do is get more people insured. 84% of americans were insured, excuse me, 87% were insured at the time they brought this on board. they were supposed to get 7% more. they didn't even get that. we have paid a horrible price and have the government essentially nationalize this industry in order to get the additional people insured. should have passed a bill and given them insurance. >> moderator: let's get into specifics. i know we're limited time somewhat but, senator, can you talk about maybe high points of that? mr. mitchell if you can respond to that. risch: it will not surprise you
we republicans view it like this. this is the sixth largest industry in america. it is arguably the most personal matter of our life. it is arguably one of the most complex things we deal with in our life. what happened? the politicians came in and took this on and said we'll dump this all out and we'll redo this. what could possibly go wrong here? everything has gone wrong here. our proposal brings back the market system into this with some side boards that needed to be added before obamacare was enacted. >> moderator: your response, mr. mitchell. mitchell: okay, well, a couple things. the idea of a 3,000 page bill that defers regulations to government agencies i agree. i think that's stupid. this is one of the receipts that where congress abdicated its role for enacting legislation, both the aca as well as dodd-frank act. i mean we need people in the congress who are actually going
to vote into, vote on laws that they have read and understand and that will work for the people. in terms of the aca and the republican proposal, well, i've looked at the republican proposal. some of the criticisms are, it doesn't cover preexisting conditions and dumping things back into the free market would be a disaster for people here in idaho as well as the american people. >> moderator: let's jump to immigration reform, obviously a hot topic here in idaho. in our rural areas it is crucial for many of our farmers, ranchers. let's begin with you, mr. mitchell. if you were elected and you had an opportunity to affect immigration reform, what would you do? mitchell: immigration reform, everybody agrees we need immigration reform but we also need leaders back in washington who are willing to tackle the problems. i agree with the president of the lds church who called for
common sense immigration reform. what he said, we need a just and caring law balanced with the values and principles that we love our neighbors, families stay together and enforce just and compassionate laws. part of that under the senate proposal that mr. risch voted against we do need some, we do need a program, a guest worker program which is supported by idaho's agricultural industry. in addition, we need a path to citizenship for these young people who came to this country and have lived their entire lives in this country. we do need a sensible path to citizenship. i think those are the two primary components that were in the original senate proposal that was passed over my opponent's objection. >> moderator: senator? risch: thank you. this is something that just breaks your heart. we could do immigration so easy in this country. if you broke this into its component parts and started by,
what is the problem? not a problem. the fact that there is 11 million people here illegally is a problem but it is not the problem. the problem is that people are entering this country illegally. there are 200 plus countries on the face of this earth. you can't walk into any country on the face of this earth without going through the requirements that they have for whether you can get in or whether you can't get in. we really need, first of all, to secure the borders. that sound trite, but every other country does it. the united states, the most sophisticated country on the face of this earth should be able to secure the borders. at the same time we need a get worker program for idaho, for every other state. our high-tech industries need it badly. our ag industries, particularly the dairy industry. president obama did, this is chart unaccompanied children entering the united states illegally. in 2012 he legalized essentially tens of thousands of people here
with the stroke of a pen, this opened the borders even more. the numbers have skyrocketed since 2012 people pouring in here. this has got to stop before we talk about other parts of the problem. >> moderator: fair play, senator went over time by 30. you have 30 seconds. mitchell: just a few comments. immigration reform is not, the problem is the shrill partisanship. it is not just raising walls on the border. it is working together and coming together because we have shared and common values and that is why we need sensible immigration reform. we need people back in washington who will not just demagogue the issue but will try to solve the problem. >> moderator: dr. weatherby, you will point this first of all to senator risch. risch: mark, couple quick follow-ups for the senator and mr. mitchell can respond as well for immigration. risch: sure. >> you talked about securing
border more. any specific ideas? would it be a wall? more personnel for border patrol? also what would your position be on amnesty, considering president reagan i guess did it back then? risch: two-part question. first part, it is all of the above. as you do security on border, as israel does, every other country does you do all of the above to secure yourrd bother. you stop people coming here illegally. if they come across the border, you take them back to the border and put them back across where they came from. you have got to stop this we've got to stop this. we're on track for 100,000 unaccompanied children to come in this year. we have to stop this. it is all the above approach and we can do it. on amnesty, i am not going to vote for amnesty. i'm opposed to amnesty. >> moderator: mr. mitchell. mitchell: the unaccompanied minor problem at the border, i agree with pope francis, it is a
humanitarian problem and i am not going to -- unfortunate when i hear people like the senator trying to demonize the children that are coming across the border. we need sensible immigration reform to address these issues, to address the humanitarian crisis with these unaccompanied minors. at the same time, in terms of what it comes down to, we need people in washington who are willing to address the issues. >> moderator: as far as amnesty goes, what is your position? mitchell: amnesty is a misleading label because when you're talking about a 18-year-old in pocatello who has lived here all of his or her life except for six months. we're not talking about amnesty, we're talking about a path to citizenship. so it is a misleading label. >> moderator: dr. weatherby. >> i begin with senator risch? >> moderator: correct.
>> a lot of talk in idaho about takeover of federal lands. is this a public issue or political posturing? what is your position on take over of federal land in idaho? risch: this is lot of talk about this. you were around douching the sage brush rebellion, so was i. the constitution said every state is admitted on equal footing. turns out some states are more equal than others. my colleagues back east can't even concede, tell them two out of every three acres in idaho are owned by the federal government. discussion is all well and good. this congress as it made up will not cut loose of the federal land. does that mean we can't do anything? absolutely not. let me give you an example. my roadless rule, that took over essentially or dictated the management of the 9.2 million-acres of roadless, create ad state committee, as
you know that actually oversees this. this is idaho anns. -- idahoans. the forest service is bound by what the committee does. count commissioners want a project to get on 200,000 out of millions and millions of acres that the federal government has and manage them, like we manage state lands, specifically to fund our payments and payment in lieu of taxes that we are supposed to get from the federal government and safe and secure rural schools. if we did that and did it on collaborative basis, like i did, like i did the roadless rule, that would be a real step forward for idaho as far as using those federal lands to move idaho forward. mitchell: in terms of the republican proposal to take over all of the federal land, i agree with attorney general wasden, it is a nonstarter. we should not be wasting our time on that. what we need though is we need
leadership in washington in terms of working with the federal agencies to make sure that these land are used productively for people here in idaho. we also need somebody back in the senate who is going to reform the payment in lieu of taxes program. as i have traveled around the state and talked with educators, there are a number of problems with the way that program is applied and implemented and it needs to be changed. but we need leaders back in washington who are going to address those type of issues to make sure we here in idaho are able to benefit from the federal lands as well as making sure we're preserving our outdoor and recreational heritage. that is one of the things that makes idaho special is our public lands and our public places. >> moderator: justin. >> talk a little bit more about social security. we'll start with you, mr. mitchell. we talk about the debt and things we will or won't cut. is there a way you can assure
you would protect social security and maybe even strengthen it for future generations? mitchell: with social security it is something, it is an earned benefit. it is an earned benefit we all pay into during our lifetimes. i will work to protect those social security benefits. i am concerned with, if the republicans get control of congress, i'm concerned with what they're going to do with social security. you have got to remember in 2006 the republicans attempted to privatize social security. if that had actually occurred and then we had the recession in 2007-2008, we would have been in worse shape than during the great depression, if we had allowed to the republicans to privatize social security. so one of the things i will do when i'm back there, i will make sure that social security and medicare benefits are protected for our senior citizens. >> moderator: senator. risch: thank you. if i'm reelected to the united states senate, i commit to you i
will not in any way reduce benefits that people have earned for social security. i will not reduce social security benefits for those people who are on it. having said that justin, you hit the nail on the head when you said that we need to strengthen social security because as it currently exists with the benefits being paid out it is going to go broke. right now it isn't that big of a bite into federal budget but it is going to be in future years. what is going to have to happen, we have to go back to people who aren't on it yet or people who are way back there, and those benefits, not benefits they have earned but future benefits are going to have to be adjusted so that it many abouts sustainable. if it isn't sustainable that will be a real problem, for people who are on social security today and people that are going to come on it in the future. it can be done. interestingly enough, i sat through a couple of proposals on that, it really doesn't take that much adjustment, if you go back to do the.
but again, i commit to you, i'm not going to reduce earned benefits people earned on social security. it is a moral obligation as well as a, a legal obligation. >> moderator: but, senator, this is not endless pot of money and many are fearful that the baby boomers will not see a social security check in 20 years when they retire or 15 years when they retire. risch: mark, i heard that before. but i have looked at numbers they rolled out, i will say this, i think you're right that people who are in their 40s, in their 30s, will not see social security as it is today. the benefits that they have earned up to the point that social security gets changed, they will continue to have but as far as this, unfunded liability, this borrowing from china order to pay benefits, that can't go on but it really can be done if people of
goodwill can sit down and with gave and take. >> moderator: final word on social security. mitchell: yes, as far as i know we're not borrowing from china to fund social security. all of the numbers i looked at, social security is on, it is sound for at least the next 20 years. it is not something, you know, running around now saying, oh, the sky will fall in like chicken little, that is just not right. i'm reassured to hear the senator say that he is going to support social security because three months ago he told his fan base that he, they could take it to the bank. he would lead the charge to cut entitlements. well entitlements of course we're talking about social security and medicare. i'm glad he has changed his position on that. >> moderator: have to let you respond to that, senator. risch: that simply isn't true. i always committed, when i ran last time i committed i would not touch social security benefits, veterans benefits or med carry. you earned those benefits.
i recognize that. i appreciate that. i will never touch those benefits. there are other forms of entitlement that are definitely going to be changed as we ratchet the budget back. mod nod next question has to do with safety which is on increased alert level for many u.s. citizens in light of several missteps involving our secret service and a few other federal organizations. senator, first of all, you serve on the intelligence committee. how concerned should american citizens be about the safety inside of our borders right now and what is congress doing to bring that alert level down? risch: well, mark, first of all, i would say this, there is absolutely no reason to panic. is there reason that we should always be vigilant and on guard? absolutely. we have an intelligence community that we oversee, i said a couple times a week. we oversee the 16, the 16 admitted intelligence agencies
and other intelligence efforts that we made. and i feel very comfortable with what they're doing. they have done a great job since 9/11 as far as protecting the homeland. but look, they have to be right 100% of the time and admittedly we had some breaks in catching people that were plotting against the united states. we've had other incidents that nobody will ever hear about but, i think people need to go about their life. i mean, we, we spend a lot of money on this we spend a lot of time on this intelligence. it's a bipartisan effort, i can tell you it is the mosby partisan things, one of the mosby partisan things i do in washington, d.c. we are focused on keeping homeland safe. >> moderator: mr. mitchell, safety, how much of a concern is it and what would you do? mitchell: i take safety very seriously. i lost a close friend on september 11th, who was on
one of the planes that hit the world trade center. my brother was on a task force that set up homeland after 9/11. particularly the operation side and part of homeland security. so it is something i take very seriously. and i do believe that our country does a very good job, but i also agree with the senator. we still need to remain vigilant and it is something that we can't take for granted. >> moderator: dr. weatherby, you address this to mr. mitchell first of all. >> mr. mitchell you made reference in this debate about gridlock in washington and certainly that is a problem for all americans who see our government as being dysfunctional. how do we really get at that however? it seems to me that perhaps on both side there are entrenched interests who are very satisfied with the status quo and are very happy with the gridlock that we currently have in the congress? what would you do about it?
mitchell: the way we get beyond it is by electing different types of people to go back to washington. in terms of the gridlock that we face today in washington, you know, i blame harry reid about, you also blame mitch mcconnell. in terms of the senate, which the mr. risch referred to earlier, the senority system in the senate might be part of the problem because, we here in idaho did not elect mitch mcconnell, nor did we elect harry reid. we need people back there like myself who come back, go back to washington, and are used to working with different types of people. during the course of my career i have worked with democrats, i worked with republicans, i worked with liberals, i worked with conservatives. i know how to bring people together. during the course of my career, i handled matters in 25 different states, in 10 different countries. i know how to bring people together to get them to work together. it is, my skill as a problem
solver. that's what i would bring with me back to washington, d.c. >> mr. mitchell, are you really getting at the root of the problem? perhaps it is elected officials but what about the interest groups who are entrenched in washington, who have the financing and ability to block most pieces of legislation who are perfectly happy with the status quo? how are you going to address that? mitchell: well, i agree that the special interests have way too much power in washington, d.c. they have way too much power in connection with these career politicians. and unfortunately, it's because of the money making contributions to re-election campaigns. they are buying influence. that is a problem. we need to continue to shine a light on the influence that the special interests and lobbyists have in washington, d.c. that is one of the reasons i made commitment to only run for one term. i want to focus on doing the right thing. not on getting reelected in six
years. >> moderator: senator, a lot to respond to there. risch: there is. let me get right to the heart of it. jim, the gridlock in washington, d.c. is caused by two very philosophical differences of party and people who are elected to the united states senate but they reflect the very different view of what america is and should be that the american people have today. that is what has caused the gridlock today. you've got a group of people, people like idahoans, who are conservative, who want a central government that doesn't stick its nose into every aspect of life. and then, i have friends in the senate, democrats who come from very different states. they come from massachusetts, they may come from maryland but they're sent down there to expand federal programs, to tax more, to get more money, to send back to the states for these social programs. this causes real gridlock between us. i'm dying to compromise. it is compromise that got us
here. we love to beat up the democrats to spend $3.8 trillion a year. they didn't do that by themselves. compromise, little drip by drip since the second world war that got us where we are. they can compromise their way out of but they have to compromise. when you talk about spending less in washington, d.c. they look at you like you've got three heads. we have to have compromise. that is what will get us out of this. >> moderator: 30 second before we go to closing statement. this is short question and require as short answer, a 30 second answer if you would, debbie. what is it for you, senator and what would be for you, mr. mitchell, your number one priority in this job as you a senator? we'll begin with you, mr. mitchell? mitchell: my number one priority would be focusing on idaho. what can i do for idaho? as i said my number one priority is jobs and economy. we need somebody back in
washington to be an an advocate for idaho, idaho interests, idaho values. that's what i would be. we raised minimum wage. which was blocked by my opponent. 176,000 people in this state will receive a raise? that is over 27% of our workforce. we can can bring jobs back to idaho. that would be nye number one priority. . .
i'm going to continue. >> it's been a lively out and wait one minute for each of you to address the camera for your closing statement. again as we started the show, you can close it. >> thank you very much. again thank you for watching to remember what i promise you when we started and that was that this choice will be very clear. if you want a conservative republican find that person. if you want a liberal democrat, he's that person. what you're seeing here is a very clear contrast between the two of us. as i said this gentleman support of both hillary clinton and barack obama and they made their push for the white house. i have spent six years fighting
every day to stop this fundamental, cultural, change agenda that is barack obama a promise to bring those and that he works everyday. we have 837 days left of barack obama. if you set me back to the united states senate i will continue to bring that message. but we don't want what he is selling. on the other hand, into the barack obama is moving this country, barack obama, harry reid, dianne feinstein, barbara boxer a moving description of what you want then you really need to vote for this guy. let me tell you, california has got to senators. they don't need a third senator. if you reelect me to the united states senate we would be honored, privileged and humbled to once again serve you. god bless you all and thank you for watching tonight. >> once again, i'm running against mr. risch. i've never met harry reid. i've never met president obama. i will go back to washington to
represent the interests and values that we all share in the idaho. idaho desert a u.s. senator who understands the importance of a strong economy and good, paying jobs. who will work for a bipartisan solution to our nation's challenges. who will be a champion for seniors, veterans and idaho's working families. idaho deserves a senator who represents the interest and that's other people of the idaho. by voting no and never offering solutions, mr. risch things he has an easy job and he is completely failed when it comes to standing up for people in the idaho. senator risch except dysfunction, gridlock and partisanship in congress. that's just wrong for our country needs a working senate, and i don't need a working senator. let's move away from the failed politics of the past. it is time to open the window and let some fresh air into the
u.s. senate. i respectfully ask for your vote on november 4. >> moderator: thank you both for being here. that's all the time we have forgot that this is the first in a series of debates that we are doing. you can see them posted online on their website and join us on election night november 4. for complete results. thanks for watching this addition of decision 2014. >> she spends having 2014 is bringing you more than 100 debates for the current troll of congress. stay in touch with our coverage and engage, follow us on twitter at c-span and like is that facebook.com/cspan. >> c-span to 2015 studentcam competition is underway. this nationwide competition for middle and high school students will award 150 prizes totaling $100,000. create a 527 minute documentary on the topic the three branches and you. videos need to include c-span program, she'll bring points of
view and must be submitted by jijanuary 202015. go to studentcam.com for information to grab the camera and get started today. >> in california's 36th congressional district, democratic congressman raul ruiz is up for election up against republican brian nestande. the 36th district is in the southeastern part of california and includes most of riverside county. >> now the combined resources of kesq news channel three, the desert sun and local news present your vote 2014. the congressional debate with incumbent raul ruiz and challenge your brian nestande. >> good evening and welcome to the first and only debate between the candidates for the 36th congressional district. i'm karen devine and i am your moderator tonight. democratic incumbent dr. raul ruiz and his republican
challenger brian nestande take the stage to ask for your vote. congressman ruiz is an emergency room physician. voters elected him in 2012 defeating on -- longtime republican mary bono. mr. nestande helped elect the late congressman sonny bono and worked as his chief of staff. he served as chief of staff for former congresswoman mary bono. mr. nestande is a three term california assemblyman. alongside me tonight, my two colleagues, to the left deserts of local reporter erica felci. to the right, a longtime anchorman for see this local to come kris long. the three of us will be asking questions tonight at the candidates did not receive a copy of those questions. to the rules. each candidate you will see on the screen will give a two minute opening statement, then a one minute answer, they did answer the question from our panel and questions about my desert sun readers under views on kesq.
they are upload will get 30 seconds for rebuttal. at the end of tonight's debate each candidate will get 90 seconds to make a closing argument. let's begin tonight. a coin toss to determine who will go first in opening statements and mr. nestande, ma you will go first. you may begin. nestande: good evening and thank you for watching. cuba libre countries than in the right direction? i do not. that's why i'm running for congress. it's simple to the bigger the government the smaller your paycheck. two years ago congressman ruiz promised he would cut spending and balance the budget. instead he voted three times to raise our national debt. every one of you, your children, your grandchildren, each of us oh $55,000 to pay this debt. congressman ruiz first review raise the debt by nearly $2 trillion. i believe in smaller government and less spending. in my first year as your status on iphone to cut $20 billion wrote a bill to certify that debt.
the budget must be balanced or legislators did not get paid. my opponent claims to be independent yet he voted to support president obama 90% of the time. as your congressman i have a proven record of being independent. my opponent claims to protect seniors but he has supported cutting medicare by $700 billion. i will fight to return the money to our seniors. my wife issue with me tonight with her seven children. like many parents we are concerned about their future. and other safety. our country is at war, while we battled terrorism overseas we must also protect our homeland. congressman ruiz proposed a bill to secure our borders first. i will protect our nation's borders. my opponent claims to protect middle-class. yet higher taxes under obama are driving businesses overseas. 80% of new jobs created by small businesses, i will work to get the government out of the way. that's what i'm doors by the chamber of commerce and the
national federation of independent businesses. the bigger the government, the smaller your paycheck. that's what i am running for congress. thank you. >> moderator: thank you. mr. ruse, you now to minister opening statements. ruiz: thank you very much. i like to start thanking kesq, local two of the desert sun for hosting this debate. debates are important part of political campaigns and they sometimes don't receive the attention they deserve. you are making an important contribution to your leaders and viewers. i want to thank assemblyman just for employers to participate. even more important i want to publicly congratulate him for the class and dignity with which he has conducted his campaign so far. both of our campaigns have focused on the issues and even when we disagree have done so with respect for each other and the voters. so thank you, brian. nestande: thank you very much. ruiz: as you know, i'm not a career politician o to i went to medical school became an emergency doctor because i wanted to improve the lives of
people in our community. that's also why i decided to run for office two years ago. washington is broken because too many career politicians are more interested in political bickering and partisan games and getting things done. but as an er doctor i was trying to work as a team to solve problems. that's exactly what i've done in congress. i work with republicans to pass a bill that improve health coverage for veterans. as part of a bipartisan group the past a lot of cut off congresses pay if they don't approve a budget on time. i helped local seniors in debt collector $2 million they were owed by the government and i stood up against every effort to gut social security and medicare. i believe in results, not excuses. just as important i believe in standing up for the families comes focuses and retirees of the valley, many of them are struggling to make ends meet. assemblyman nestande has different priorities and that's what this debate in this
election are about. >> moderator: gentlemen, thank you for opening statement. a coin to determine who would get the first question tonight in the debate. this one will go to mr. ruiz. erica will begin. >> congressman, in august after urging speaker boehner to address the immigration crisis you missed two key votes. after refusing to acknowledge your opponents call to say how you would've voted to mistake the was quietly put on your website to say you oppose the two bills. consider how important this issue is for the region, don't you think voters deserve a better explanation of where you stand? ruiz: thank you for that question. first let me make a statement that will help explain my view on comprehensive immigration reform. first, it's a privilege not a right for immigrants to live in this country. every sovereign nation has the right to protect its borders. those votes that were missed would have made the problems worse. they were not confidence of
immigration reform votes but it would've taken protections with children suffer from sexual abuse through human trafficking but i would have voted no because that's right thing to do. i am not for amnesty. i have for comprehensive immigration reform that will protect and secure our borders that will improve our local economy, that depend so much on immigrant labor, agriculture, tourism and construction, and that will have earned path to citizenship for those who play by the rules, pay a fine, and i've never been arrested. >> thank you, mr. ruiz. mr. nestande, 30-second rebuttal of the is a pipe is broken in upon the person you're going to do is turn off the water. with immigration we have to secure our borders first. congressman ruiz as mentioned he voted not to come or didn't vote. said he would not devoted to secure the borders first. he wants a comprehensive fix. i think it to secure the borders first before you get to the other part of immigration. he is in favor of the senate
bill which is a thousand page bill and it's a comprehensive -- sometimes were for something you will understand because just like the health care bill where speaker pelosi suggested past to find what's in it, that would be the senate bill. bills we can argue and understand. >> thank you, mr. ness. kris long will take the next question. >> gentlemen let me also say thank you for participating but it's my feeling we should have mandatory debates. that's a moot point tonight because both decided to take part. my question is first to the assemblyman. a gallup poll released last month shows 60% of americans approve the military action in syria and iraq against the group known as isis, or isil in the filter is present obama doing enough to address the terrorist threat? and should we send in boots on the ground speak with first of all what's going on right now in the middle east is a direct result of president obama's lack of clarity can lack of a real foreign policy. when he came to office he
decided he was going to pull back america from the world's state. he was not going come or did not want is to be the world's superpower that we are. when you step back from the world stage you leave a vacuum, and in that vacuum is chaos. chaos is filled with isis, isil, all these other terrorist groups. that's because first of all when president obama said syria, do not use chemical weapons against your own people, he drew a line in the sand and they did and he did nothing. the world watched and said, this guy doesn't keep his word. use wiki. with that using vladimir putin walk into crimea, in the ukraine and that's what's happening in the middle east right now. it's not just me saying that. hillary clinton also said was mistake by not acting quicker. former democrat secretary of defense lay up ahead said that. henry kissinger has said it. there's been a lack of leadership from president obama that is caused this problem. >> thank you. congressman, 30-second rebuttal.
ruiz: isis poses a surge threat, terrorism poses a surge threat medal to our nation everyone around the globe. i disagree with the president on many things and this is one of those disagreements. we need to send a message to isis loud and clear that anyone killing americans anywhere around the globe will be brought to justice. i agree with a strategy that will build coalition, use airstrikes today down their infrastructure, prevent boots on the ground and stop the financial transactions and train allies. >> moderator: thank you. again to my colleague kris long. >> a question that the deficit, taxes and her own housing industry with another federal deficits, congress is eyeing a reduction of tax benefits. one area that could face cuts is the mortgage interest deduction for homeowners. it is seen as crucial for the continued tournament of americas housing industry. do you see yourself ever voting in favor of reducing or even eliminating the mortgage
interest deduction? if not, what tax benefits would you consider cutting? ruiz: that's a good question. thank you. so this is for important to understand. we have a deficit and we need to really improve our budget because our spending right now is out of control. we need to make some efforts in improving it. but here's the difference between my opponent and me. i want to balance the budget. we need to be fiscally responsible and we need to reduce our deficit. but we need to does the budget not on the backs of our seniors and middle-class. it's our middle-class has been suffering throughout these years, income inequality has grown. families like my families are struggling and working hard and making less. that's what i believe we need to protect those tax cuts. we need to make sure homeowners have the capital and the finances they need to buy their home, and we need help them stay in their homes. >> moderator: thank you, mr. ruiz. mr. nestande, 30-second rebutt rebuttal. nestande: those a good talking points but they don't much of
record. you said we do not spend enough. so by single balance, not balance the budget on the back of seniors, you took $700 billion out of medicare. that's a fact. it's not convenient by $700 billion out of medicare to fund obamacare. so i would like to see a better tax reform system, particularly in the corporate tax. with highest corporate tax rate of all developed nations but we can lower that rate down and businesses will expand. money will come back. there are $2 trillion sitting across the sea. if we lower those rates that money will come back. >> quickly would you consider cutting the mortgage interest deduction? nestande: know, i don't think we should. no, i do not. >> moderator: mysteries, would you like 15 more seconds? ruiz: those 700 billion not my opponent is referring to a reduction in overpayments to hospitals their insurance coverage and physicians. so that is absolute false and not true. >> moderator: thank you. on to the next question your
erica felci. >> this is for the sm women. you offered legislation that would require all caliper log external in the plans offered on the federal health insurance exchange. your argument was that lawmakers should have the same coverage that they're imposing on residents. based on that, have you ever coming members enrolled in any such plan? would you do as a member of congress? nestande: the idea once again as you said is to of legislators live under law. as they passed the bunker of that would be appropriate that all legislators get their care through obamacare so we can see what problems are going on in the network and so when. the democrat legislators said no. congressman ruiz said he was not going to take the subsidy when obamacare to purchase your health care. first he said he would not take a subsidy and then you reverse bid and you decide to take a subsidy to get your health care. i think that's wrong. the law was originally written for congress not to take subsidies but he took it anyway.
ruiz: result, that was an employer contribution. assemblyman nestande, don't you take subsidies for the employer contribution from the state? i'm an emergency room physician and i'm trying to solve problems the the difference with the affordable care act with my opponent and me as i want to fix it. that's what i stood up to present obama, congresswoman pelosi and voted to delay the individual mandate for you. my opponent wants to repeal it, take a back to the days were insurance companies discriminate against people with pre-existing health conditions, make seniors pay more for their medicine and women pay more for their insurance premiums. >> moderator: would you like nestande: i want to get back to the doctor-patient relationship what you've done this with the government right in the middle of the. obamacare remember when he said if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor? that wasn't true. if you like your insurance plan, keep her insurance plan. that wasn't true. over six many people have their insurance plan canceled only to
go forced to go buy insurance that was sometimes doubled in rates. don't throw the greatest health care system in the world. that's a big mistake. >> moderator: mr. ruiz, another 30 seconds. ruiz: my opponent has said multiple times he wants to repeal the affordable care act. it means he wants to about and take us back to a day when insurance companies would discriminate against people with pre-existing health conditions that he wants to take away health insurance from thousands of people here in this district have health insurance for the first time in their lives. >> moderator: thank you. moving on this is from the. we asked our views to be part of this debate by telling us what subjects are important to them. education, more important specifically the application of common core standards. our largest valley school district is getting mixed reaction by implementing common core. are you a fan of the common core standards, and is this the answer to bring our public school ranking of? this goes to mr. ruiz.
ruiz: first, i wouldn't be standing here if it wasn't for high quality and affordable education that i utilized growing up in a trailer in coachella, being able to go to ucla and then medical school and back and keeping my promise. so education is very important. it's that american game that we all strive to achieve. i believe that the solutions to our educational systems is in the classroom but it's with our teachers who work so very hard. we need of local control. they need to be able to assess these common core's, be able to be flexible and teaches them to the students that they are teaching in a way that they will learn and use technology in a classroom. we still have internet in every classroom in our district. we know that if we use technology and software in the schools, our kids will learn a lot faster and a lot more. nestande: the problem with common core is without you had
to lower our standards to california had very high that standards in particular. went to lower those standards to get into common core. the problem with common core basically is we're giving our school decisions, school curriculum to washington. i think that's a mistake. we have elected school boards for a reason to allow those school boards to be in control of our education locally. i've worked hard to make sure dollars flow directly to the classroom. i wrote legislation to not allow those dollars to go to other parts of the bureaucracy. very supportive of education, particularly career tactical education. that's something we have lost and i am fighting to get back. >> moderator: erica? >> a symptom and, in just two years the federal investment tax credit will drop from 30% to 10% of the cost of solar development. a looming deadline has caused rivers account at least one major renewable energy project. given a polarizing condition in congress what else should
federal government do if congress is not providing the same level of financial incentives? nestande: solar power is great. it's taken over a lot of our energy needs right now. going forward i think solar power particularly in about is going to continue to grow. as a matter fact i just had opening for a solar company. 400 new jobs for solar power installation to a company become a friend of mine started a solar company without any government help. now he's over 60 employees but it's a fantastic new energy development and other forward, we should encourage it anyway your but we don't need the federal government like the stimulus plan and the money to particular companies. remember what $800 billion stem this plan that president obama had? he gave $500 million to particular solar company that went bankrupt a year later. a mistake. private enterprise works. let it go. ruiz: we live in the best place
for solar energy. our economy is booming because of the renewable energies that we have. we need cleaner and cheaper energy. i agree with and all of the above approach, natural gas, solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy. this is our competitive event. i believe we need to fight for jobs in our district. i will fight for the tax incentive for our small businesses so the we can produce more solar, wind and geothermal energy right here at home and create jobs. >> moderator: thank you. mr. nestande -- next question sorry. we're moving on to kris. kris long. >> congressman, this one is for you. we will continue to talk about business. california's been experiencing a difficult time attracting new business. we've been losing this is a. you were critical of your opponent in his role as a california lawmaker for not doing enough to bring the plant here ye that our state governmet
is controlled by your party. you regret that attack on your opponent? as a member of congress realizing it's a state issue but can you do anything to bring business to california? ruiz: thank you for that. i understand the value of a good paying job and have transformative it is for our families here in the district. and we need to fight for every single opportunity to bring jobs here. you see, it's one thing to fight and lose, but assemblyman nestande didn't even lift a finger. so this is what we need to really have is we need to focus on solutions, not excuses. i do believe that we need to cut red tape, accelerate business growth, make sure we eliminate redundant and duplicative and harmful regulations. but the focus on job creation is the middle class and small business. i want to raise the minimum wage, decrease taxes on middle-class and bring jobs at
home. my opponent supports a plan that will give corporations tax breaks and ship jobs overseas, voted against raising the men wage and a plan that would raise taxes on the middle class. >> moderator: thank you. mr. nestande. nestande: once again your talking points don't match a record. he is plenty of opportunity to cut regulation, duplicative regulations come and you voted no. h.r. six, many other bills. while you talk about -- goes home is ridiculous to say that i have a responsibility or was not allowing tesla to do anything to bring testimony here. it's your ideology, your regulation, your higher taxes that are taking comes out of california, out of america. you want to take the same policy, cap-and-trade policy in california, give it to the rest of the nation and drive the rest of the jobs out. it's ridiculous but if you loosen regulations, get back to what businesses do to run we would have company staying in california year the regulation upon regulation, tax upon tax, that is what's driving them out
of here. >> moderator: mr. long? >> guns, ma hot button issue for many across the country. this is to the us and women. congress has yet to pass legislation for universal background checks. the house did approve a measure that would boost funding from the nation passionate nations back ground check system to as a congressman if elected, what would you do to ensure that guns do not get into the hands of the wrong people? nestande: i believe in protecting the second amendment. we have plenty of gun laws in california and a lot of states do as well. actually if you, states have a high scan rate was at the highest and violent. we need to focus on mental health. a lot of these problems that happened with the shooters, it's a mental health issue. went to reach and get those kids, those family something that's going on, something's wrong. if you can reach out to them, for counseling, that is how we will solve this problem but by
looking just to put more regulations on guns, i don't think i'm guns that's not the answer and i say we have plenty of those in california not let's work to go to the problem, the mental health issues for our children cut for mr. ruiz. ruiz: i've seen people come in and i with gunshot wounds. it was a 16 year old who got shot in coachella and i organized a mothers against violence vigil to address that, and we stand firm for our efforts for peace in our communities. you are responsible gun owners who should be allowed to keep their guns at the issue are the responsible gun owners and, therefore, i agree we should have universal background checks and make sure guns don't get in the hands of those want to hurt other people. >> moderator: thank you, congressman. candidates come another viewer initiative question from our facebook page tonight. match hernandez has border situation from immigrants to drugs to tears issues continue to plague our area. mr. menendez wants to how you will represent the district in securing our border and keeping
us safe. this is directed to the congressman. ruiz: i believe incompetence of immigration reform, and a key element, conference of immigration form is we need to secure our borders. we also need to ensure that we help improve our economy and give our agriculture, our tourism, our construction industries stable workforce. know what the place other than more than here would rely on immigrant labor but we also need to make sure that we have an earned path to such an she. and earned a path to sit should reduce our deficit, improve our economy. but that is armed. it's not amnesty. people have to pay a fine, get back in line, and they also have to -- we also have to make sure they have never been arrested. ..
but secure the borders first. >> moderator: how would you secure the border and pay for it? nestande: there are many ways. first of all, the bill congressman ruiz would have voted against would have allowed states to have national guard down to the borders to secure the borders. second of all there are a lot of various that border agents are not allowed to enter because they are protected areas so criminals don't care, they go right through the border patrol
can't chase them. that is ridiculous. put the national guard down there, reimburse the state if they do, then use technology like the use in afghanistan. puseafghanistan. put sensors around. you don't need border agents everywhere, with the drones and so forth you can secure the border. it is not an engineering problem. is a political problem. is president lacks the will to secure the border. >> moderator: is it a political problem, mr. ruiz? ruiz: yes it is a political problem because we should vote for comprehensive immigration reform. tying terrorism to the border is one of the worst political fear mongering have ever heard. the other thing is talk about this vote i would have voted on absolutely because it would have taken attention from children that suffer sexual abuse and human trafficking. that is the right thing to do. we need to secure the border by
using technology to our competitive advantage, make sure we identify who is coming water, no guns or drugs or people who want to hurt other people who cross our borders. >> moderator: thank you. we will move on. i will move on. erica felci, you're going to direct a question to mr. nestande. >> you have been critical of congressman ruiz, for raising the debt ceiling describing the vote as given the credit card and a higher credit limits even though it they are alive in debt. if you were in congress and the federal government maximize the ability to borrow money to pay its bills would there be any scenario where you also would support raising the debt ceiling? nestande: back to the border issue first. either you did read it or misrepresented it. it did not take with protection for the kids that simply expedited at the same time kids come from mexico or guatemala or el salvador all had the same time limit.
getting to your issue, we spent too much money. he voted three times to raise the debt limit. he said we do not spend enough money. that is a key difference, i think we spend too much money. we have to pull back as many areas, the cbo said there are $200 billion a year wasted money in duplication of spending and so forth. $200 billion a year. that would be the first bill i write, to get rid of that $200 billion a year. cut the spending. >> moderator: would there be any scenario in which you would also support raising the debt ceiling? nestande: if you have to raise the debt ceiling you raise the debt ceiling but i vote for cuts spending. i would be constantly looking for areas to cut. he thinks we should spend more. that is the fundamental difference between us. >> moderator: you have a minute for your response. ruiz: the fundamental difference between us, i believe in being fiscally responsible, lowering our deficit and balancing the budget but not on the backs of
our seniors and middle-class. the budget is a statement of our values. i will stand with our seniors, our veterans and our middle-class. my opponent believes in giving tax breaks to multimillionaires and corporations who ship jobs overseas. he wants to balance the budget but on the backs of our middle class and seniors, especially by supporting a plan that would end medicare as we know it and make seniors pay thousands of dollars more. nestande: he is making stuff up. that is simply not true. you took $700 billion out of medicare, not a convenient act but that is true. i don't know what you are referring to when you talk about my position. ruiz: your defense of the ryan plan that would end medicare as we know it. nestande: endeavour said i would. ruiz: it is documented. nestande: note is not. i never said i would support the voucher plan. is simply not true. you can't make stuff up. >> moderator: we are moving on
to the next question. erica felci from the desert sun. >> to the congressman the demand combined eight years you two have served in office there have been countless promises by local democrats and republicans to make the problems of the sultan see a priority. why haven't there been more results delivered? why should voters think sending you back to congress will help make actual progress in addressing the dying lake? nestande: these schulze is important for me and my family. i have memories of my father taking us out there and emerson title office we have more momentum since we have had in ten years. the very first thing we did was partnered with senator boxer in bringing the secretary of the interior down and advocate for the sultan see. we have been able to designate the area as a renewable energy zone, we are on the verge of a project with the red hill a mitigation project and we also
brokered a partnership between the department of the interior, the irrigation district and a solvency authority. we need to make sure we have all hands on deck, public, private, investment including state government, the tribes, philanthropist and foundation. as the community we can do it. >> moderator: response. nestande: i reached across the aisle and co-authored a bill with fellow democrats to create a license plate that says save the sultan see it if you buy the license plate that money goes directly into the restoration of the sea and governor jerry brown signed that bill last week. think of all the people who come from other countries and cds license plates, save the salt sea, that will raise great awareness that the difference i have i am not for more studies lizzie wants to study more, it has been steady enough. i have a plan to start action, i will be releasing this week that talks about how to start construction to restore the sea
now. >> moderator: mr. long. >> i received in my mailbox a couple flyers, here they are right here. don't know if you can see but many people in the valley have gotten them too, paid for and backed by the state democratic party although it does not mention your opponent's name. highly critical of view. i will read this in short, nestande's businesses have been hit by multiple tax levies for owing $5,000 in unpaid taxes and lied to voters. politician nestande failed to pay $10,000 in taxes and been hit with multiple tax liens and saying the same thing since 2005. how do you respond to these fliers from the state democratic party? nestande: let's be clear. it is from my opponent. they filter money, it is from my opponent, he likes to hide behind that. i started a small business and i struggled like many other people have. is not easy to start a business.
i had good years and bad years. i had a tax lien ten years ago and paid it off but i continued, persevere and did well. i am proud of that. fired employees and proud of my business but once again the politics of personal destruction. when you don't have the issues if you are not right on the issues, if you don't line up and it doesn't, you attack someone personally. i am not doing that. i'm only talking about the issues. is not going to work. >> congressman, do you m. dorsey is mailings that are critical of your opponent? ruiz: those mailings i will have to discuss with those who did those to make sure we get the facts right. i was aware of them and i think the point here it is there are too many career politicians who do this for their own personal benefit. the point is i am an emergency room physician who has devoted my life to improve the lives of the people i serve. that is why i voted for no
budget no pay in congress and also sponsored a bill that w prevent congressional members from flying first class on taxpayers' dime.didn't make me is what i believe. >> moderator: ok, do you have another question? >> let's talk marijuana. the congressman sides of the marijuana issue, the house had a bill that would exempt strains of low tse marijuana for medical purposes with the federal ban on the plan but stopped short of legalizing other forms. here is th do you support the legalization of medical marijuana on a national level and do you ever foresee the day when the nation does one washington and colorado have done and legalize marijuana for recreational use? ruiz: i don't support legalizing marijuana throughout the nation. medicinal marijuana is used for people with cancer to stimulate their appetite to eat in order for them to prevent weight loss they do with cancer and
chemotherapy but emergency medicine doctor, i get teenagers coming in the emergency department for a sand pains or maybe they fell off their bike and are asking me for marijuana. we need to get real and make sure we address the problem as it is. >> moderator: mr nestande? nestande: and against legalizing pot. back to your ridiculous statements, you didn't know about this mailings? give me a break. if you want to attack me do it up front. i want to talk about the issue. i know you don't want to talk about the issue but to go on personal attacks like that turns voters off and i think we had enough of that in politics. let's focus on the aegis and not get into personal destruction like you are doing and if you want to just stand up for it, the i-man and sat want to attack on issues and not behind another group. >> moderator: the stick with the dishes and the back to the marijuana question. you are against it period?
thank you. erica felci. c-span2 i was once in church and her somebody say if you throw a rock into a group of dogs the dog that gets hit is the one that barks and yells. i think in there is some truth there must be some truth to what they are saying because it is something that is tearing on mr. nestande. nestande: can i bring up -- >> moderator: we are going to move on to the next thing. assemblyman. with many residents and visitors using dallas as a travel hub the news of confirmed ebola cases from the alarm. of the federal government be doing more during this health care crisis? nestande: the cdc is doing a good job. it is 4 in the federal government and fda coordinate with the who to ensure we have a quick process for review for any
new drugs and vaccines they're working on, therapeutic drugs. there quarantining people, that is necessary obviously, a problem in africa where it is, obviously that is the most important thing to do but coordinating between different countries to get a vaccine or drug, quickly, a lot of times there are a lot of delays in doing so, so let's get something approved quickly and make sure protocols are the same for all countries. ruiz: the ebola virus is a virus that and cause hemorrhagic fever, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, it is transmitted through bodily fluids and there is no cure. it is very important that right now we start to build our capacity to contain the virus in africa and the who, the world bank is making investments, the group i worked with before partners of health was there and made sure we had that capacity here to prevent the spread and provide support and care.
>> moderator: kris long. >> let's talk about something in mind about californians, the drought situation. or rain dance i think we have to do something very serious. california one of several western southwest's states suffering record drought. if you believe in climate change, do you feel it is man cause or the normal evolution of our planet? as a member of congress what would you try to do to alleviate the effects of drought in california, both of you have homes in the valley, are you doing anything to maintain our water supply? congressman, you begin. ruiz: yes. we live in the desert and know how important water is to our economy and our and existence. this -- global climate change is a man-made issue with our reliance on fossil fuels and our pollution and destroying the of the ozone layer. we need to make sure that we use technology in the home to conserve water better.
we need to convert from flood irrigation to drip irrigation in our fields in the desert and we have to recycle water better. this is an issue we need to address as a state that you better rest assured i will not allow other regions syphoning off our water. >> moderator: yes, mr. nestande. nestande: we are in a drought but part of this drought is man-made. we are dry right now but there has been water going down in sacramento to save a small fish and minnow called the delta smelt. instead of bringing that water to farmers in central valley and is gone to the fish and what happened is thousands of acres of land, farmers have gone out of business and our food prices have risen. i am sure you noticed food prices are going up. that is a direct result of these environmental regulations that are too burdensome and don't make sense. congressman ruiz 11 had a chance to alter those regulations and allow the water go to farmers and voted no. he cited with the environmentalists who say we will protect the delta smelt
over food prices. >> moderator: did you have a 15 second rebuttal? ruiz: yes. i voted no to that bill because that bill would have prevented us here in the desert, i represent the people here. i don't represent the people of the central valley. i am going to fight for the people here and that would have prevented as in the long term to be able to get some of that water year if our drought gets worse in the desert. >> moderator: thank you, gentlemen. erica felci. >> if the drought continues to worsen it is likely the state impose stricter limits on the amount of water used each day. what drought measures do you support? is there a stronger role congress needs to take in order to protect this resource? nestande: i was the only republican to vote with democrats to make sure we measure and save our ground water. we have depletion of our aquifers' not only here but in other parts of the stay. is important that we start to quantify the water and make sure we protect the ground water. i was the only republican to
vote for that and i am proud of that. we must protect our water and i forgot the question. what was it? >> what drought measures to use supported is there a stronger role congress can -- >> we have to conserve water just be good stewards of it. we have to build storage. the water moves into the sea. that is where is missing in this equation. congressman ruiz and the ideology on the left the environmentalists don't want dams in the reservoir. if we capture and hold it in the dry years. >> how do you respond? ruiz: we need to seriously look at these drought measures. i am proud to say i brought home $7.3 million from the usda grants in order to bring new clean water, infrastructure to our communities right here.
we need to make sure we take measures that utilize the beauty of our desert and landscapes that doesn't rely on water like many golf courses in many places in the valley have done it use measures like that in the home. >> thank you. nestande: on the topic of the environmentalists let's talk about technology, we all know the big one could hit our area, many seismologists eventually say will hit. do you think we are doing enough? at the congressional level can you do anything to help people in southern california in particular, let's not forget our neighbors in northern california, get better prepared for the big one and there are early earthquake warning systems out there but seem to be rather slow in implementation. nestande: my sub specialty emergency medicine is humanitarian disaster aid. ruiz: i have been trained in that and i don't think that we are fully prepared for the big one. there are some initiatives
around a program we need to educate, we need to train, we need to go back to train our kids in schools in how to deal with an earthquake, we need to learn what we need to keep in the home, we need to make sure we have communications systems available so that when we do lose our communication power lines, to connect with our family and tell our families we are ok and identify those and need to start focusing on stem education with students and build pipelines that will help us produce the technology we need for the future to determine when we have the earthquake sooner than we do now. >> moderator: assemblyman? nestande: we should have an early-warning system. there are two competing ideas how to do that and i think as when comes fourth, that is the best one we should implement that one in particular. let me go back to the budget for a moment. congressman ruiz is proud of his vote on a budget no pay. the voted against all the
budgets, they had no budget but yet he took his pay. the law he voted for if there is no budget by april of 2013 they would not accept their pay. there was no budget and he took his pay. ruiz: there is no law. we voted for is that bill but there is no law. the other thing is during that shutdown i did not receive pay. nestande: you did receive your pay. ruiz: during the shutdown i did not. the nestande: no budget no pay. you talk about personal attacks on the other side, you're doing the personal attacks. we got to make sure we stick to the issues here. ruiz 49 sticking on the issues that are relevant to public policy. >> moderator: the next one, erica felci. >> supreme court rulings talk about the legality of same-sex
marriage. how do you stand? ruiz: i support marriage equality and a strong separation of church and state. the state should not be telling churches coo they should mary. nestande: congressman nestande voted against marriage equality in the state. ruiz: assemblyman brian nestande opposed there is equality. i am opposed to every form of discrimination including who you want to marry. i am for marriage equality. nestande: i am not sure what bill you are referring to. if the 13 we will get you the information. back to >> moderator: would you like to talk about that? nestande: what we have to wait? you couldn't tell us? ruiz: i don't know the name or number of the bill but i can't get it to you. nestande: i don't think there has been a bill. it was working through the court system after prop age. there have been various bills.
ruiz: i voted on the bill. nestande: i don't know what bill you're talking about. >> moderator: we will seek some clarification. >> let's talk wage gap. the 36 district you represent and the assemblyman of represent has the greatest wealth in this country and some of the worst poverty. as recently as last weekend at the flying doctors program bring in a free medical and dental health, our east valley is the only place in the continental united states with the flying doctors come in to. do you agree there continues to be a growing divide between haves and have nots if he remains in congress and should you get to congress what would you do to close this much talk about income gap? ruiz: absolutely. people can feel it in their pockets. the income inequality continues to grow. the middle class is disappearing. one main difference between my opponent and me.
i am for the middle class and small businesses. i fight to reduced taxes on the middle-class, to raise the minimum wage. i fight to reduce burdensome regulations and cut red tape for small businesses. my opponent fights to protect tax breaks for multimillionaires and corporations who ship jobs overseas and supports this plan that would raise taxes on middle-class. >> moderator: mr. nestande. nestande: what plan to raise taxes on the middle-class? secondly let's get back to tesla. when you say special breaks, that is what you wanted to do it as low. i am for lowering regulation and taxes on all businesses statewide or nationwide, not take one favorite company over another. that is what congressman ruiz wanted to do with tesla. the all these regulations and everybody but the ones with the good lobbyists and lawyers that one can exception, we will give you the exemption but everybody else, you live under the regulations.
that is a big difference, i want fairness for everybody to compete. >> can this be done narrowing this income gap by raising the bottom up as opposed to bringing the top down? ruiz: and dirksen senate office building 3. if you give tax breaks to the middle-class they have more nick pocket, spend more, small businesses can flourish and thrive, those of the job creators, the middle class and small businesses, absolutely. nestande i am all for cutting taxes but the difference between us, the obama policies have driven the middle-class to the lower class. the most amount of people are not looking -- 64% of americans no longer are looking for jobs. the lowest participation rate in 30 years, because president obama has put disincentives for businesses to hire people. if you hire more people or put some full time you get a penalty. that is not the right way to do it. we should encourages businesses to hire and not penalize them
when they move somebody to full time. we created a part-time economy, that is happening. >> moderator: final question tonight from erica felci. >> republicans in the state assembly much like democrats in the house have to learn to work across the political aisle in order to get legislation passed. this creates an opportunity to recognize smart bipartisan ideas. what proposals have your opponent champion in his time in the house the you also support? ruiz: what measures -- i don't remember. can i talk about one side championed that i support? i reach across the aisle to lower the regulation once again going back to these environmental regulations and taxes. i stuck my neck out as the only republican to say we should level the playing field. what we were doing with the democrat majority was picking certain companies to give them special tax breaks on regulations of went on a limb and said i will vote for bill democrats want me to vote for
but we have to regulate or lower regulations for all companies to make it fair and it didn't pass. my point is i reached across the aisle, i lost my leadership position because i was willing to do that. we have to stop the special-interest breaks. that is simply against our free-market free enterprise system. we ship have an equal level playing field for all. that is how we will ways -- raise wages for people. ruiz: network with republicans in the house to pass a law that would improve health care for veterans. i worked with democrats and republicans at home to launch our veterans universities that would educate and train our veterans to get the benefits and health care that they need and also brought home a one$.5 million in benefits that were owed to democrats and republican veterans here at home. i worked with veterans to stop the use of first-class subsidies of taxpayer money for congressional members to fly first-class and i have worked with republicans to fix the
affordable care act and have voted to delay the individual mandate and stood up to congresswoman nancy pelosi and president obama. >> time for one final question. >> moderator: either of you answered the question. the question is about your opponent, your efforts to reach across the aisle. anything your opponent championed that you would also support. one minute each. nestande: i support congressional members to use the same exchanges in the state that they are from. i believe congressional members should use the same exchanges with the affordable care at from the state there from. nestande: that would have voted to delay the republican bill, delay the mandate on businesses for obamacare but the problem is it ends a couple months after the election conveniently. i would support to eliminate that mandate altogether. just to delay the hurt for one year doesn't make sense to me but that might be an area we
would have agreed on. >> very quickly you guys know each other well, what character trait in your opponent do you admire? ruiz: he has seven children. >> we will leave this debate, you will see it in its entirety on a website, c-span.org. going live to senator carl levin speaking about u.s./afghan relations at the u.s. institute of peace, should get underway in just a second here. >> organized, the head of our office on afghanistan, organized a group of people for the senator to talk with and share experience with. i was talking to the staff and he said that was extremely useful sessions that we organized for senator carl levin in kabul. he was fair at a time and when the political crisis was still real.
he had something to do, having conversations with both sides of that crisis, political focus at that time was intense and the senator played a major role and john kerry followed up and we know that story. today we will get his remarks. steve handley, the chair of the board, and also former national security adviser and knows something about afghanistan during his time during that period will moderate the discussions that will follow senator carl levin's comments. let me welcome senator carl levin to the podium and steve will join him afterwards. [applause]
>> first, thank you for your warm words, thanks for the invitation to join with you today. as of matter-of-fact i have a wonderful visit with your folks in kabul and they did brief me very helpfully on the situation there. i won't report to john kerry your view that i lead the way with discussions, and he followed up, clean up after me. i was delighted to meet with the two candidates both of whom i have great respect fox, the new president's and mr. abdallah both. i am glad they came together. it was essentials they come together in a government of unity. they were lucky. afghanistan was lucky to have
two people as qualified as they are and was willing when crunch time came to come together. when i met with them, it was now a few months back, what they needed to do was to be as brave as their troops and the coalition troops and they needed to be politically brave if they were going to work out a solution. they were counting ballots and recounting ballots or recounting ballots but chicago, that is a joke and inside joke, nobody from chicago like so i hope. it was very tense, a very tense moment but the fact then they were able to pull it off, come together for the good of their country and show in a political way the kind of courage the
troops of afghanistan and the coalition forces have shown to make it possible for there to be an election and to have a resolution which under the circumstances was -- is as peaceable as you could hope for. and again i am very appreciative of the institute, helped to brief me. we appreciate the work of the institute in many ways. you worked hard to find the wisdom that can lead to peace, the kind of wisdom talked about in the famous comment that, quote, we need more owls, not more hawks or doves. kind of put all in one sentence. well-known comment and was really beloved in the senate. today i want to focus on afghanistan. i have a few remarks on another
subject after i spend a few moments on afghanistan. i am somebody who is hopeful about afghanistan's future because of the progress that we helped bring about in the last several years and i am hopeful because of the recent, a peaceful democratic transition of power which is a first in afghanistan's long history, transition offer is increased reason for optimism that we have an essentials ingredient for css in place in afghanistan, perhaps the essential ingredients, and that is a unity government whose goals are in harmony with our goal of a free, peaceful and unified afghanistan with strong security forces and honest governance.
afghanistan faces immense challenges from taliban terror, corruption, poverty, ethnic and political tension. but the progress the country has made it is also in men'mmense. people forget what afghanistan was like listening major cities texas to food, water and employment was limited, women were barred from attending school, working outside the home or even leaving their houses unless accompanied by top male relative. medieval rules werea male relative. medieval rules were enforced by armed thugs. television, music and the internet bend. today by contrast there is
vibrancy in afghanistan society. in just one decade, life expectancy in afghanistan has increased by 22 years. infant mortality or child mortality is decreased by 62%. there were only boys in school, now student enrollment is 8 million including free million girls. in 2001, afghanistan had 20,000 teachers, all male. today there are 200,000 teachers, including 60,000 women. universities are sprouting up including an impressive and inspiring american university in kabul. the afghan security forces have
exceeded our military commander's expectations, successfully responding to taliban attacks and safeguarding two rounds of elections. the taliban threatened to prevent the peaceful transition of power in afghanistan but failed spectacularly. the afghan people support their security forces, now about 350,000 troops strong. i always believed our principal mission in afghanistan is to help establish afghan forces so they can protect its people and their hopes for a free nation. that is the taliban's worst nightmare. one of my early trips to afghanistan when i asked a group of village elders whether they wanted us there, at their spokesman answered, say until you have trained our army, and
then leave and someday we will welcome you back as guests. afghans now have hope for better governance as well. as president ghani, chief executive officer of dalai have formed a unit government. we have seen in iraq where the maliki regime's pursuit of a sectarian agenda left the nation vulnerable to the poison of isis, that when leaders chose narrow political aims over the common good of their people they can do immense harm. the fact that the new afghan government's first official act included the signing of security agreements with the united states and nato, the reopening of an investigation of the kabul bank scandal gives the afghan people reason to hope that the nation's new leaders are more interested in building
afghanistan's future than in pursuing a partisan or sectarian or corrupt agendas. the progress that we and our afghan allies have achieved in afghanistan has been built on adherence to a number of important principles. first, the value of broad international support for our military efforts. second, the value of training local forces, willing and able to defend their own people. third, the value of pressing for a unified, inclusive governance, the value of the government worth fighting for. fourth, the value of setting limits on our own military involvement in order to incentivize the development of domestic, military and government institutions able to stand on their own. while public opinion polls show the afghan people think we have accomplished much and are glad
the became, polls in the united states shows that americans believe our involvement in afghanistan has failed to. former secretary gates has made the pungent point that the afghan war is the first that he has experienced, the first war that looks better closer up than at a distance. i believe the american public's failure to understand what we have accomplished in afghanistan is due in large part to the constant, almost totally negative portrayal of events in the american press. the press understandably reports on negative events. a taliban truck bomb in kabul does make a more dramatic story than 1 million girls going to school.
but it would be tragic if this negative focus deprived the american people of -- are men and women in uniform and their families, of a sense of accomplishment that they deserve to feel about our efforts in afghanistan. and the relentless negative focus of the press could have a serious negative affect on afghanistan's future. for two reasons. first of all, it could dampen the willingness of congress to continually support afghanistan. the american people think we failed and we have wasted our resources it is less likely congress will do what we should do, which is to be steady and constant in our support, economically and otherwise, for afghanistan. but there is a second reason. that is that while afghanistan's gains have been impressive, they
remain reversible. afghans continue to fear that the united states will abandon them and they believe that we did after the soviets left in the >> host: 90s. the afghans have assumed responsibility for their own security and their own political affairs but they continue to depend on international funding, training and institution building. it will take years for the afghans to develop a sustainable economy and they won't be able to do it without substantial economic assistance from not just the united states but from other allies and other members of the coalition. so if the public continues to
believe that afghanistan is a lost cause it may become a self-fulfilling prophecy. simply put if we don't understand what we and our coalition partners have gained in afghanistan, we risk losing it. we have accomplished much along with our afghan and coalition allies in bringing more security and stability to that country and preventing it from once again serving as a safe-haven for terrorists who would attack us and others. much remains to be done, i believe the afghan people remain united, and if we remain constant in our support of them, afghanistan will take its place among the achievements of which our nation can be proud. before we move on to questions i want to touch briefly on something congress is going to face when it meets after the elections and that question is
whether we should vote to authorize the president to use military force against isis. in my view, the answer is clear. we should. the poisonous ideology of isis is possible not only to the region but to the world and there is a real risk that the areas that it controls could become a training ground and the launching pad for future attacks against the united states and our friends and allies. isis is terrorizing the iraqi and syrian people, enslaving and slaughtering, persecuting with this minorities, attacking schools, hospitals and cultural sites. if the fight against isis is to succeed, it must be visibly and iraqi and syrian fight, an arab and muslim fight against an internal cancer and not be perceived as principally a
western fight. some have sought to minimize the contributions of arab and muslim nations in the battle against isis, the open public participation of those countries is sending a powerful political signal to their populations and to the world. the have a unique opportunity at this crucial moment in history, to bring the world together, to confront a common, violent enemy. our role should be to help bring together a broad coalition in support of a unified iraq and moderate syrian opposition by training and equipping them for the fight and as part of a broad coalition with a strong, visible support of aaron and muslim countries by providing air power that the iraqis and syrians black. boots on the ground are needed,
but they need to be iraqi and syrian boots. i also believe that we should seek to establish a delineated buffers zone along the turkish border in order to protect civilians. a zone that would be secured by turkish boots on the ground if turkey is willing, protected by a coalition no-fly zone. those things will be necessary for a turkey that considers turkish boots on the ground in that part of syria along that border. there must be a no-fly zones that protect that buffers zone and we should surely consider doing that. and seek to do that. so yes, congress should vote to support the president in this effort because it will be
destructive to our drive to unite the world against basis if congress and the president appear this united. we should vote because president obama has organized a broad coalition that includes most critically arab and muslim nations who are public and open participants. their publics know about their participation. i do disagree with those who argue that the president cannot act without an express authorization to use military force. that is the other question. should he? should we? should we vote on it, the answer is yes. if we don't vote on it, can the president act without that authority? i believe the answer to that question is also yes. the president has authority under article ii of the constitution to act were
necessary to defend the united states and indeed presidents have used military force overseas on dozens of occasions and receive congressional authorization only a handful of times to do that. in the last 25 years we have engage in air campaigns to enforce a no-fly zone in iraq, to see the blood shed in bosnia, to bring about a serbian withdrawal from kosovo and protect civilians from gaddafi in libya, all without congressional authorization. congressional support would strengthen the international fight against isis but the united states should continue in this fight with or without a vote on vote resolution to authorize it. again, my thanks for the invitation to be with you this morning and the work you do and i will be happy to answer a few questions.
[applause] >> thank you, mr. chairman. i am going to start off with some questions and then we will throw it open to the audience and we will have the mic brought to you. let me begin. mr. chairman, there was some reference to the agreement that john kerry negotiated between president ghani and ceo of the law of the law. you were if there before, you had a call at -- catalytic role in achieving that agreement. one of the things as i understand it, you emphasized the two leaders, the need for an audit of the election results and that became a part of john
kerry's compromise proposal that has been completed. what is your assessment of how that process went and how the electoral fraud says went putting aside the agreement reached between the two leaders? did it achieve what you hoped when you made that recommendation? >> it is achieved as much as could be expected. you are an old hand in washington. you understand the necessity of reaching practical agreements. there was a practical agreement reached at the end of that audit which is the results but not th
psychological reasons in order to have an outcome that the sides could subscribe to there had to be that practical resolution that the result would be announced as to who won but the numbers, no matter what the numbers were when they were announced would create problems, second-guessing, third guessing, fourth guessing that they had to agree that the results would be fair and the numbers would not be made public. they're very imperfect numbers. in terms of the powers that were then going to be in the ceo
position, that is another practical resolution that both sides could sign up to and which helped pull the nation together. it is almost miraculous, people in america, the negative view, the negative way in which the press is treated afghanistan, they view something as a failure or don't view it at all, the question you asked. it really is quite extraordinary, the outcome is an extraordinary outcome that they could agree not just on whether to announce the numbers for votes in the ballot count but also that they could share power and propose, i guess it will be to another -- still going to be called but ratify it. it is within the culture of afghanistan that they were able
to come together and when you compare that to what is going on in iraq when maliki left, the contrast is huge. it is a contrast which is very positive in terms of afghanistan. they can be very proud that they were able to come together after a bitter election campaign. >> it is remarkable. a lot of afghans felt they needed a unity government to favor going to go forward they now have one. it creates a sort of practical challenge for people in the administration and in congress when they go to kabul. it is a little bit reminiscent, i don't think -- reminiscent but not parallel in any way, but when president medvedev was made president of russia and frederick who was prime minister, who do we deal with? do we deal with vladimir putin
or deal with men that have -- --medvedev and the idea of the obama administration reached was to deal with the president and we have a different situation now. who do we deal with in the united states government? do you go to ghani or abdallah or both? what is the sequence? >> that is not unusual. that is true in many places in the world where you deal with both but the sequence is they elected a president and it is important that we deal with both. they are both powerful figures. one was elected president and that is the fact of the matter and i hope both accept the sequence and both understand the necessity that both be deeply involved in discussions and hopefully agree. we have a sequence problem in this country in a sense too.
i don't know if anyone looks at it that way but we are not very good at compromise these days. i don't think we can lecture people with too much power. we don't have a lot of ground to stand on. we ought to have a little similarity. we ought to congratulate them on what they have done, is really extraordinary but secondly, refrain aid little bit from being too self righteous about the need to work together. we could probably follow their lead these days instead of vice versa. >> it is remarkable achievement what they have done in terms of the election and the unity government. as you know better than i there's a lot of fatigue in the united states with afghanistan compounded by as you made clear in your remarks the sense from the media said it has not been a
success but a failure. so americans are going to ask is afghanistan still important to us, the united states, and if it is, how do we rebuild support within the country and within the congress for the afghan project? >> the afghans have helped the great deal in their agreement, there in unity government agreement and taking on the kabul bank. that the issue, working out a bilateral security agreement with us with nato to the extent the american people have focused on those issues. i doubt too many have. nonetheless we simply have, we are reassured by that but the bottom line is there's a lot of fatigue in this country, that means leadership has to lead. if you have people who are kind of heard it all, tired of the
election, tired of politics, scared about ebola, worried about isis, go down the list of things that happen. that is where leadership becomes more and more important and that means hopefully that there is going to be greater unity in this country particularly in the area of foreign policy. we have fallen short and violent to avoid being too partisan but there has done a real shortfall of bipartisan foreign policy recently. i come from a state where we had a famous senator who helped truman's not just win a war, win a piece. he was an isolationist as a matter of fact, this republican senator, before the war. he became somebody who really became an international list after the war and helped truman win nato and helped truman that turkish aid for turkey and
greece and a number of other things that were so important. we have fallen away from that recently and there has not been enough, i think, in a critique of the falling short of that goal of having politics at the water's edge that is so important in this country so important to our success, and so i would hope somehow, even if the battles continue on the domestic front over health care, over budget and all the other things, somehow or other a coming together more in the area of foreign policy. >> let me press you on that because you have been in the senate over 30 years, been a real student of washington, how do we get that back? since the media seems to push us
to the extremes, the electorial system with so many seats, republican candidates standing of challenges from the right, democratic challenges from the left, it almost seems like the divisions have been institutionalized in our politics, in our media. how do we get it back? >> it is going to take leadership. people who are willing to sit down together, just the way leaders have until recently, and work things out. maybe just a matter of getting through and election, and hopefully the new environment but given the fact that a heated presidential election is next in line just two years away, like two minutes away in terms of political time. i think the odds are against it in the short term. it is going to be a fortuitous combination of leaders that for
what ever reason see it in their political interests to come together. we are facing sequestration. i don't want to get off the subject, this mindless across-the-board cuts which nobody who voted for it said i know of thought would never take effect and they cut into everything, just about everything and they are mindless. it is not a way to budget. with you are liberal, conservative, democratic or republican. 80% of us say it is crazy so we are now going to face in january and february another round, first of three four more rounds of sequestration and it affects everything including voter support, as we should, afghanistan's recovery. and so will we be able to find a course to deal with that threat, that ought to be doable, that is